Who's Gwazdor?

This blog is about the project, not me, so instead I will answer the question, "Where'd Perceival come from?" You might want to skip this little prehistory post, but if you are interested, sometimes it is instructive to see how a project develops...

First of all, I've been drawing like this for a few years. Here's a typical sketch from 2005:

Click on image to enlarge.

This video (which was made way back in 2005) is very similar to "Perceival." However, the question "What is it?" is answered. In Chinese...

Here's that picture they are looking at:

Click on image to enlarge.

This video (from Fall, 2006) is more clearly related to the current project, albeit with a different visual style.

These next two videos were made just last month. They are very similar to Perceival, but I felt they were too complicated.

The comments people left on YouTube are great!

Thanks for your interest! :)

What does Perceival mean?

I can't answer that question exactly, but I can tell you some of the ideas I was thinking about when I came up with the idea. This is the looooooong version with lots of my bizarro thoughts. For a shorter version, click here

First of all, I am carrying out this project as "Gwazdor" not because I want to keep my identity secret (it's fairly easy to figure out who I am), but because I want to remove myself from the equasion to limit my artistic authority. I don't want anyone to think that I know the "correct" answers... It is truly a matter of opinion.

The title, "Perceival," comes from the word "perceive" - which can mean to see something, but it also means to notice, to realize, to interpret, to understand. Additionally, Parsifal, a.k.a. Percival, was one of the legendary knights of the round table who searched for the holy grail in King Aurthur's time, decoding mysterious clues and disentangling leads to pursue the ultimate mystery. This story is a wild combination of truth and fantasy that continues to fascinate our culture, blockbusters.

When people look at abstract art they often ask what it is supposed to represent. *What is it? The urge to identify and categorize things is not only the foundation of art criticism, but is one of the basic motivations of all mental activity. This can be as simple and practical as, "If that's a banana, I'm gonna eat it." Or it could be as complicated as particle physicists using supercolliders to explore the mysteries of the universe. One thing is for sure - the mind is not satisfied by saying "I don't know." When you see something you can't quite identify you must approach the solution creatively, and the answers will be quite subjective. They reveal your beliefs, your culture, your inner fantasy life, or what's been on your mind. After all, all knowledge comes from experience, and experiences are all unique. This is why psychologists use abstract patterns in the Rorschach inkblot test (a load of hooey; don't worry; I'm not going to analyse you!).

I created animations of symbols that are very simple, almost like a letter or an ideogram, but that also have a kind of minimal plot. They are partially abstract, but also have some representational elements; these may be realistic or fantastic. I intend them to have enough clues to to spark some ideas, and yet be ambiguous enough to remain open to interpretation.

In terms of style, I know these are not masterpieces of drawing or animation. They are simple sketches that get the job done - to communicate the form, movement, and sound. In the 21st c. it is possible for an individual to create a multi-media project without making a huge production out of it. I am attracted to this rough & ready visual aesthetic.

This project also deals with fantasy. All scientific theories begin as a creative fiction in someones mind, only later are they graced with empirical truth. We all live our fantasy life to a great extent. When you watch this video you absorb a piece of my inner world. When you add your interpretation a loop of imagination is created, contributing to a cosmology of form and meaning.

Most importantly, "Perceival" is about the diversity of individual opinion. When subjective questions are debated in public the process must be democratic, and the consensus (if one emerges) will be a kind of group-think, a meeting of the minds, a printout of the social sphere. Before we make any more misguided attempts to export democracy around the globe we need to figure it out for ourselves. In order to understand it we must start with the basics, i.e. how to determine the answer to a question with no obvious objective answer. There are a few myths that need to be dispelled. Pure objectivity is a mental impossibility; people all live in their own fantasy worlds. But this is not necessarily a negative; all of the purposeful, concrete changes in the world, good and bad, originated as someones fantasy. The process of reaching consensus should be approached with a sense of humility rather than a false and arrogant belief in our own infallibility. "Perceival" is an exercise in this kind of democractic process in a world of fantasy, and is an attempt to dispel another myth about democracy - that it doesn't work.

Of course, these ideas are a bit far out. In the end, "Perceival" is just a bunch of simple animations which I hope you find enjoyable and thought-provoking.

For a short explanation of artwork I completed while developing Perceival, click here.

I'd love to hear your comments.


Hey there! Thanks for checking out my project!

My name's Eff Gwazdor. I'm the artist and creator of this blog. I'm here to tell you what it's all about.

"Perceival" is an art project including the "WHAT IS IT ???" videos found here and some paintings (below) that I'll be showing in NY this September.

w_("o")_w ---"What am I supposed to do here?"

Good question! Watch the videos, look at the animated symbols, and then post a comment: "WHAT IS IT ???"

There are no right or wrong answers - I'm trying to collect your opinions. Your answer might be very strait-forward or maybe a little crazy. Maybe it's quite short, maybe it goes on and on and on. ANYTHING OK! Just make sure to be true to your own ideas.

In fact, I consider your comments to be more important to the meaning than the images themselves. I am never going to express my opinion on the matter, so your interpretation will never be contradicted.

You might think this is too simple to be called "art." But simplicity can be revealing. This project asks a lot of questions. How do symbols work? What is meaning? Fantasy? Interpretation? Communication?

But don't worry about those questions. Just tell me: "WHAT IS IT ???"

m(_ _)m

I know writing can be tough - thanks for all your time and effort!

If you want to read more about the ideas behind this project, click here!

BTW - All the contents of these videos are copyleft - which basically means that it's OK to copy them, use them, remix them, etc. as long as you don't sell them, and you've got to let me know and give me credit. They are all available for download.

*download Perceival Theme
*download Gwazdor Theme

These are some of the paintings from the Perceival series. They're a lot like the animations, but not as detailed. Oh, and they don't move...

Click on image to enlarge.




This blog was created to be the central forum for a web-based video project called "PERCEIVAL." I will post videos here and solicit your comments.

As of NOW I am still creating the videos and designing this page. Please stay tuned for updates!

Any suggestions or advice you have are always appreciated...

Click on image to enlarge.